Parking strategy and solutions

Goal: Integrate parking to support attractive streets and spaces

  p57. Providing sufficient car parking to meet the needs of residents whilst creating attractive and successful development schemes can be a significant challenge. Too much parking can visually dominate the street and weaken its enclosure (count garages and car ports towards parking spaces). Too little results in frustration for residents and visitors alike and can lead to indiscriminate parking. The need for parking is a reality however, and imaginative solutions should be adopted to respond to this challenge. Developments should be future proofed to ensure expensive retrofitting isn’t required in the future (electric charging points).

  p58. Residents tend to favour parking solutions that maintain a line of sight between their dwelling and their vehicle. As such parking courts to the rear of properties tend to be less successful solutions.

  p59. Parking on-street remains one of the most successful ways to accommodate parking as part of a balanced solution. Parking on the street is an efficient use of space and people understand how it works. Unlike rear parking courts, on-street parking increases activity on the street and between the street and the house.

  p60. On-street parking should be designed into the street scene from the outset. It may be parallel to the kerb, angled to the kerb (echelon), perpendicular to the kerb or within a central reservation. However, it should not be allowed to dominate the environment or to negatively impact the character of a street. All solutions for parking within the street should benefit from landscaping and the materials used should be of the highest quality.

  p61. Developers should consider the promotion of public transport, car clubs, rural car clubs, bicycle and scooter hire schemes as a means of reducing the need for people to have their own vehicles. Consideration will need to be given to the parking requirements of hire or pool vehicles in accessible locations, as well as their storage and potential charging needs. Car free developments should also be considered in appropriate locations.

On plot parking

 Figure 32

  Figure 29: General on plot parking arrangements

Frontage parking

 figure 33

  Figue 30: On plot parking arrangements

Parking courts

 figure 34

  Figure 31: General parking court arrangements


Inform your design:

Prepare a plan demonstrating a variety of parking solutions including the needs of private plots, visitor and on-street parking and the ways to achieve them.

Communicate your design:

Prepare a parking strategy plan.

Support your design:

Manual for Streets 1 (DfT, 2007)

Manual for Streets 2 (ICHT, 2010)

Oxfordshire Street Design Guide (OCC, 2021)

Oxfordshire County Council Parking Standards (2012)

Oxfordshire Transport and Access Group (OXSTRAG)

Streets for all (Historic England, 2018)

Electric Vehicle Charging in Residential and Non-Residential Buildings (2019)


On-plot parking (Tadpole Garden Village)
Example of an attractive rear courtyard with integrated planting and natural surveillance (Upton, Northamptonshire)
Electric charging point (North West Bicester, Oxfordshire)
On-street parking broken up by landscaping (Upton, Northampton)

Ensure the scheme:

    1. has a range/variety of car parking solutions that relate to the order of street;
    2. provides parking for both residents and visitors (including accessible parking bays) in accordance with Local Plan(s) and county level car parking standards;
    3. keeps parking areas positioned to the front of properties (on-plot) to a maximum of eight spaces in a row, providing an adequate planting break every four adjacent spaces (equivalent to another parking space to allow for a tree, low-level planting, or access);
    4. shows visitor parking spaces on street, where appropriate, and which can be easily recognised. Spaces should be located where they will be needed;
    5. provides on-street parking designed as part of the street layout with a maximum of five bays separated by a kerb build out allowing adequate visibility for pedestrians crossing the road and space for tree planting or access;
    6. avoids rear parking courts and these are only provided where all other options have been exhausted. They are small scale, well-landscaped and are overlooked by adjacent properties. They have been designed as part of the public realm and avoid single large expanses of tarmac;
    7. uses small scale shared drives for parking, when located at the front of properties. These should be overlooked by active frontages from adjoining properties;
    8. avoids tarmac and uses porous materials for side or front on-plot parking to distinguish ownership from the street scene;
    9. avoids garages and car ports which can breaking up the enclosure and definition of the street. If provided, they should not be forward of the main building line, compromise the amount of private amenity space, or cause overshadowing issues. Large groups of garages and car ports should be avoided.
    10. shows electric charging points have been provided (refer to climate mitigation and adaptation section for details). Until the emerging Oxfordshire County Council Parking Standards are adopted, we recommend one (on plot) EV charging point per dwelling. Where parking is provided communally (courtyards and flats) at least two EV points are recommended;
    11. incorporates landscaping to enhance large areas of parking (carparks), and screens service areas to minimise their frontage onto public realm and/or streets without creating potential target areas for unsocial behaviour;
    12. In more rural and lower density locations on-plot parking is an acceptable solution and should be landscaped and designed in such a manner that they do not dominate the front garden or streetscape;
    13. provides creative solutions for attractive, convenient and safe (secure and overlooked) residential and on street cycle parking.

Note: All design principles are applicable to all scales of development unless otherwise specified; *minor applications, **major applications